Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

Canada's Westjet to launch ultra low-priced airline

WestJet Airlines Ltd. will launch a new discount carrier later this year in a bid to offer travellers a no-frills, low-priced option, the company said on Thursday.

The airline said it is still waiting for regulatory approval, but will roll out the service with 10 Boeing 737-800 planes. It is uncertain whether the project will operate as a fully certificated stand-alone unit or as a virtual carrier using its parent's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC).

Clive Beddoe, co-founder of WestJet and chair of the board of the directors, said the new carrier is all about disrupting the price-sensitive end of the market.

Travel Best Bets President Claire Newell is excited and says because WestJet is an established airline, they could make a go of it. Late previous year, Minister of Transport Marc Garneau granted investment exemptions to ULCC start-ups Jetlines (Vancouver Int'l) and Enerjet (ENJ, Calgary) thereby allowing foreign investors to own up to 49% foreign voting interests in either airline.

"WestJet pilots have demonstrated the pilot unity needed to certify a union on the property, and we believe pilots will be successful in their election for ALPA representation", Canoll said. He said Canadians have always been paying too much for flights through Air Canada and WestJet, and are hungering for fresh competition. During its first year of operations, it expects to operate six B737s.

For more information on Jetlines, please visit our website at

Gregg Saretsky, WestJet President and CEO, said the company was responding to a change in the worldview on low-priced airlines since the launch of WestJet in 1996. "The concept of a low-priced airline was still relatively new when WestJet took to the skies on February 29, 1996, serving five destinations in Western Canada with three aircraft and 200 employees".

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